Ever noticed orange, red or yellow flowers in your salad, drink or cake? Most likely, these brightly colored flowers were nasturtiums. Tropaeolum majus or nasturtium is commonly used by chefs to add color or create stunning works of art on your plate. Today, many wedding cakes are decorated with nasturtium flowers as they add color and pomp to the event. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about nasturtium flower recipes and how to turn the plant into a delicacy.
Basically, the nasturtium plant is popular for being medicinal and a culinary delight. And here is the icing on the cake: every part of the plant-from the tubers to the leaves and flowers-are edible.
When you pop a nasturtium flower in your mouth, you are rewarded with a soft, spicy flavor with an aroma similar to mustards. The delicate, peppery flavor is what makes the flower ideal in most recipes.
If you intend to use the flowers for salads, pick them in the cool of the morning when the buds have just opened up. Wash them gently to get rid of dirt, contaminants, and bugs, and dry them. Use flowers immediately or put in a plastic bag and refrigerate.
Nasturtium flowers are extremely nutritious as they have iron, vitamin C, vitamin B1, B2, and B3 as well as phosphorus and manganese.
Their mild flavor makes them ideal for adding color and character to dishes. The flowers can also be frozen into ice cubes to garnish summer drinks or added to raw apple cider vinegar to make nasturtium vinegar. Alternatively, the flowers can be chopped and mixed with soft butter to make nasturtium butter.
When stir-fried, nasturtium flowers and leaves make a perfect pesto for pasta. They can also be cooked or steamed to replace spinach.
2 cups nasturtium flowers
½ cup toasted pine nuts
½ cup chopped nasturtium leaves
4 garlic cloves
¼ cup grated Parmesan
1 cup olive oil
Process: Boil water in a large pot, prepare an ice-water bath and put aside. Toss in nasturtium flowers and simmer for 10 seconds. Drain and transfer to ice-water bath until cool. Drain and set aside. Put flowers, garlic, pine nuts and oil in a blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and fold in leaves and cheese.
The above are just a few of the nasturtium flower recipes to tempt your palates. Since these flowers are versatile, they can be eaten raw, cooked, stir-fried or used to garnish dishes. Here, your creativity is the limit.